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Managing Your Mental Health — How To Avoid Stress While Trying To Conceive image
08 October 2019
Managing Your Mental Health — How To Avoid Stress While Trying To Conceive
Growing your family can be one of the most overwhelming experiences in your life— even for those who are easily able to conceive. But for the nearly one in ten women who struggles to conceive or stay pregnant, the path to parenthood can feel like an even more difficult road. No matter where you are in your fert...
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Fertility Nurse Kate Davies Explains PCOS Signs to Watch for in Dr. Oz image
03 October 2019
Fertility Nurse Kate Davies Explains PCOS Signs to Watch for in Dr. Oz
Despite the fact that it affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, many people have never heard of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). It’s a hormonal disorder, and common symptoms range from irregular periods to bouts of depression and even infertility. Many of the signs of PCOS are similar to those associated...
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What Is a Fertile Window, and How Do You Find Yours? image
30 September 2019
What Is a Fertile Window, and How Do You Find Yours?
When you’re trying to conceive, you need to make sure you’re trying at the right time, under the right circumstances. As you may or may not know, there are certain days of your cycle when it is easier to get pregnant. Known as the ‘fertile window’, this is a small number of days that revolve around your o...
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03 November 2015
Can acupuncture improve your fertility?

 By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

 

During my day to day work in the field of fertility, I hear many claims about the latest therapy that ‘will get you pregnant’. Unfortunately many of them turn out not to be true and others may have other therapeutic benefits, but do they really get you pregnant? For me to be confident in recommending a therapy to my patients, it is vital that the treatment has its roots in research, and it’s safe to say that this is exactly where acupuncture for fertility sits nicely.
 
A report published in 2008 reviewed seven studies that looked at the benefits of acupuncture and fertility. The report found that acupuncture increases a woman’s chances of conceiving by 65%. Conversely a later review in 2010 concluded that there is no evidence to support the benefit of acupuncture during IVF, however doubt has been cast on the validity of the findings in one specific study in the review. Complementary therapist and clinicians alike still support the use of acupuncture for fertility and I have seen countless numbers of women report improvements to their menstrual cycle and in particular the lengthening of their luteal phase when using acupuncture for fertility.
 
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Research in 2005 found distinct benefits for men and fertility. This research showed that acupuncture significantly improves the quality and health of sperm and found that analysis of sperm samples before and after acupuncture showed fewer structural defects in the sperm and an increase in the numbers of normal healthy sperm.
 
I believe that when considering your fertility and what you can do to increase your chances of conceiving, it’s important not to look at just one aspect but to consider your fertility more holistically. Often it’s not just one thing you do or one change you make that results in conceiving but a combination of many aspects
 
Let’s consider for a moment the impact of stress on fertility. Research into the benefits of acupuncture for fertility, suggest that acupuncture is effective in reducing stress. Recent studies show a clear correlation between stress and infertility. Therefore it makes sense to work on reducing your stress levels by identifying your stress triggers; for many women this iacupuncture-906144_1280s work related, or the stress they experience while trying to conceive.
 
Getting lots of good quality natural sleep, exercising and eating a balanced diet can really help to combat stress and by adding in acupuncture can increase the likelihood of conceiving. You may also want to spend a little time thinking about your cycles and hormone balance
 
Acupuncturists report good effects when treating women with irregular cycles. Getting your cycles more regular and then monitoring your natural fertility indicators such as your body
temperature and cervical secretions helps you to conceive quicker.
 

 

Clearly, more research into the benefits of acupuncture for fertility is needed before we can hand on heart say ‘acupuncture will get you pregnant’ and it may be that we never can. However, current research looks very encouraging, and that’s enough for me.

 

Book your FREE consultation with the OvuSense Fertility Nurse, Kate -  to assess your fertility potential, answer your burning fertility questions, get recommendations on how to optimize your fertility and have your charts analysed.

If you are an OvuSense customer you are entitled to a FREE 1 hour consult, if you are not currently using OvuSense you book a FREE 15 minute consultation. Consultations are held by Skype or Telephone. Don't see a time that suits you? Email Kate on kate.davies@fertility-focus.com

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03 November 2015
Must know fertility facts - Part One

 By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

 

As the fertility Nurse Advisor for OvuSense I am delighted to have the opportunity to share with you some of my knowledge, expertise and tips on how to maximize your chances of conception and in essence give you the knowledge to help you achieve pregnancy quicker.
 
For the first few blogs I am starting at the beginning with all the basics, the ‘must know’ facts about fertility. The ones that are crucial, the ones that really matter.
 
Firstly, if you are reading this because you are trying to conceive, please know that you are not alone. One in six couples experience problems conceiving and, if this is you, I would urge you to seek advice sooner rather than later. There is also so much that you can be doing now to optimize your fertility.
 
 

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03 November 2015
Eleven fertility myths...now busted!

 By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

 You only have to spend a bit of time on a fertility forum to read conflicting advice and opinion about many aspects of fertility. How many times have you wondered whether what you are reading is fact or fiction? Here are eleven popular fertility myths and their factual answers:

  1. Myth: You only need to have sex around the time you ovulate. Fact: You should have sex every 2-3 days throughout the cycle. Why? Regular sex keeps sperm healthy. You want to maximise the health of the sperm so that at the time of ovulation you have healthy sperm to fertilise the egg. New research also shows that the more sex you have the more fertile you are!
  2. Myth: You always ovulate on day 14 of a cycle. Fact: Womens' cycles can really vary in length. If they have a long cycle then they will ovulate later than day 14 and if they have a short cycle they will ovulate earlier. This is another reason why it is important to have sex every 2-3 days as you never know when you might have a longer or shorter cycle than normal and ovulation can easily be missed. In actual fact the majority of couples are just not having enough sex in a month to conceive.
  3. Myth: It's all in your head. Why don't you relax and then you'll get pregnant. Fact: Medical reasons are most often the cause of fertility problems; however, recent research does show an increased association between stress and infertility. That said, it is very unhelpful and upsetting when someone tells you to ‘just relax’.
  4. Myth: Infertility is always the woman’s problem. Fact: Actually it’s pretty even. 35% of infertility is associated with the woman and 35% with the man. A mixture of both partners in 20% of cases and 10% unexplained infertility.
  5. Myth: Infertile couples will never be happy or fulfilled. Fact: Being unable to conceive can fill a couple with sadness, grief, anger, despair, and even a sense of personal failure. While it's normal for infertile couples to experience a range of powerful emotions, most people do move through this life crisis successfully and gradually put it into better perspective. For some couples, 'moving on' means letting go of their initial dreams of having a baby. Other couples decide to adopt. But in either case, couples do learn that there is life after infertility and find a myriad ways to fulfill themselves, with or without children.
  6. Myth: Age doesn’t matter for the man. Fact: Whilst a man is able to father children throughout his adult life, research shows that men of 35 years and older are 50% less likely, during a 12-month period, to conceive a baby than men who are younger than 25.
  7. Myth: Smoking is okay as long as I quit once I’m pregnant. Fact: Smoking adversely effects fertility. Research shows that it can effect the movement of the egg from the ovary to the uterus and also has a detrimental effect on ovarian aging.
  8. Myth: Alcohol boosts your chances of conceiving. Fact: Alcohol damages both the egg and the sperm and prevents the absorption of minerals essential for fertility. That said the occasional glass of wine to help you wind down and relax may have important therapeutic benefits. The good news is that alcohol damage to sperm is reversible and if the man reduces or gives up his alcohol then sperm health will improve.
  9. Myth: The sexual position you choose will help you conceive. Fact: There is no evidence to suggest that any one sexual position is better than the other. There is however value in lying in bed for a short while after sex to allow the sperm to have the best possible chance of entering the uterus. There is conflicting advice on whether having an orgasm actually helps you to conceive, it is known that the cervix (neck of the womb) contracts at the point of an orgasm and appears to ‘scoop’ up sperm, though women get pregnant whether or not they have achieved orgasm at point critique!
  10. Myth: Little can be done to improve a man’s sperm count. Fact: Lifestyle really matters when it comes to sperm count and general health. Giving up smoking, reducing alcohol, avoiding drugs, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, moderate exercise and a healthy weight can all help to improve a man’s sperm count. Positive changes to a man’s lifestyle can increase sperm health relatively quickly.
  11. Myth: A woman can delay getting pregnant to have a career, and even if there’s a problem then IVF will fix it. Fact: It is well documented that a woman’s fertility declines sharply at the age of 35. Although I believe no woman is purely a static and we all age differently, it is very important that women are aware of their fertility ageing if they choose to delay motherhood. Whilst advances in science mean that women are able to turn to fertility treatment in their 30s and 40s, IVF is not always successful. The percentage of live births following IVF for women over 35 years of age is 27.7%. This falls sharply to 13.6% in a woman aged 40-42 and down to only 5% in women aged 43-44.

 

Hope this blog has helped.

Best wishes, Kate. xx

A note from OvuSense: 

OvuSense is an extremely accurate fertility monitor which measures your 'core body' temperature in your vagina overnight every 5 minutes, while you sleep.  In the morning, you simply download the data.  OvuSense can tell you when you are going to ovulate, and then calculate the exact day for you, with 99% accuracy. Only OvuSense provides this much information about your personal cycle this accurately.   

In June 2016, we will launch an App version of OvuSense.  Please contact us for more details at support@ovusense.com or read about OvuSense and how it will work for you here:  http://www.ovusense.com/uk/blog/2016/01/14/your-ovusense-your-cycle/

When every month counts, no other system gives you as much information as accurately as Ovusense.

 

 

 

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03 November 2015
Maintaining your relationship when trying to conceive

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Experiencing difficulty in trying to conceive can have a profound effect on a couple’s relationship, and this is totally unique to the individual couple. I find that most couples are totally unprepared for the emotional upheaval and turbulence that can affect their relationship. However this emotional effect isn’t always negative.
 
 

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03 January 2019
How to increase your luteal phase naturally

 By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

 

While trying to conceive, it's very likely that you spend time counting the length of your luteal phase and wondering if it is long enough. You are right to be considering it, as the luteal phase is a very important part of the menstrual cycle. During this phase, fertilization and implantation occurs. It is essential that the hormones are balanced to allow for a sufficient luteal phase in order to support an implanting pregnancy.
 
A too short luteal phase (less than 9 days) may cause complications in trying to conceive. The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to help increase your luteal phase.
 

Diet:  

 
Ensure an adequate supply of Vitamin C in your diet - research shows vitamin C improves hormone levels and increases fertility in some women with luteal phase defect. Foods rich in vitamin C are: papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, sprouts, strawberry and oranges. Essential fatty acids – these are vital for balanced hormone production.
 
Many women are low omega 3. Some foods rich in essential fatty acids are walnuts, salmon, sardines and scallops. Green leafy vegetables - green vegetables are rich in vitamin B complex and are necessary for good hormonal balance.
 

Herbs:

 Vitex (Chasteberry) This herb has been used for centuries to treat women’s health problems including infertility. Research has shown that this herb effectively lengthens the luteal phase. It also helps the body to increase its own production of luteinizing hormone (promoting ovulation to occur), which in turns boosts progesterone levels during the luteal phase of the cycle. Be careful with this supplement as it is very potent. If you are not careful you can end up doing more damage than good, so always consult a qualified herbalist if you are considering this treatment.

 

Antioxidants:  

 
Studies have been found to show that women who had luteal phase defect have significantly lower levels of antioxidants than healthy women. Around 40% of sperm damage is also thought to be cause by oxidizing free radicals. Make antioxidants part of your every day foods for the both of you by enjoying blackberries, blueberries, garlic, kale, strawberries, sprouts, plums, broccoli and red peppers.
 

Alternative therapies:  

 
Acupuncture has been scientifically proven to regulate the menstrual cycle and in particularly lengthen the luteal phase. Find an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility. For this type of treatment, most acupuncturists will recommend weekly treatments.
 

Medical treatment:  

 
There are medical treatments available to help with luteal phase defect and, if you are considering this option, take the opportunity to discuss the possible treatments with your doctor.
 

Book your FREE consultation with the OvuSense Fertility Nurse, Kate -  to assess your fertility potential, answer your burning fertility questions, get recommendations on how to optimize your fertility and have your charts analysed.

If you are an OvuSense customer you are entitled to a FREE 1 hour consult, if you are not currently using OvuSense you book a FREE 15 minute consultation. Consultations are held by Skype or Telephone. Don't see a time that suits you? Email Kate on kate.davies@fertility-focus.com

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03 November 2015
The cost of infertility

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

When faced with problems conceiving the furthest thought from your mind is money. Disappointment is most likely to be your initial feeling, followed quickly by anger, resentment and confusion. This is the emotional cost of infertility; an all-consuming state of utter despair. However after a while you pick yourself up, dust yourself down and begin to look at your options.
 
You probably think ‘We’ll do whatever it takes to have a baby’ but inevitably the reality of your situation creeps in and tough financial considerations have to be made. Have you considered how much you would be prepared to spend in order to conceive?
 
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03 November 2015
Smoking BEFORE you plan to get pregnant can affect your fertility!

Smoking BEFORE you plan to get pregnant can affect your fertility!

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health, but have you really given any consideration to how smoking affects both you and your partner’s fertility?
 
 

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26 October 2015
Kirsty's story

Secondary infertility, 3 week Luteal Phase and now pregnant

Hi, my name is Kirsty and I’m pregnant with my second baby after using OvuSense for 2 cycles. With OvuSense, I was able not only work out, if and when, I was ovulating, but how long my Luteal Phase was. Turns out, we were trying to conceive at completely the wrong time.

Here is my story:

My husband and I have been trying for 2 years to conceive again as we already have a daughter together. I am 29 years old and the first time I got pregnant, I was 23. It took 6 months to get pregnant with my daughter, so we were really hoping it wouldn’t take as long as it did the first time. Unfortunately, we were wrong. I saw OvuSense advertised on Facebook and the fact it worked for women who have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), made me read more about it and eventually order one online. In addition, the OvuSense money back guarantee, ‘OvuSense Ovulation Promise’ really sold it for me as I didn’t think I was ovulating at all. Knowing that I could get my money back after 6 months if OvuSense didn’t detect ovulation for me, was a big relief financially. Continue reading

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19 October 2015
When to seek help and the questions to ask your doctor

In the OvuSense PCOS support group one of our most FAQ’s is ‘When should I seek advice about trying to conceive and what questions should I ask my doctor or specialist?’.

time-481445_1280 Continue reading

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13 October 2015
Cervical Secretions and Natural Fertility

Let’s talk about cervical secretions. Admittedly, not an every day topic of conversationCM, but one that plays such an important role in natural fertility. Hopefully by now you have already started monitoring your temperature every day and if so, this is an excellent step in the right direction to maximising your chances of conception.

However there is more you can do… Continue reading

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